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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  November 15, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PST

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>> this is "bbcworld news america." tensions flare in the middle east as israel and palestinian militants exchanged rocket fire. bp pays a record fine and plead guilty to criminal charges. more than two years after a massive oil spill at daily inched the u.s. coast. --deluged the u.s. coast. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. there are real concerns that the conflict between palestinian militants in gaza and israel
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could spark a wider conflict in the region. air raid fire sounded in the israeli city of tel aviv as rockets were fired towards it. the assaults underlines the rising tension. >> tonight, sirens sounding across tel aviv. the commercial capital and most populous city now a target for the rockets being fired by militants -- militants in gaza. people to cover bread they could. there were no casualties -- people took cover where they could. there were no casualties. >> i saw a flash of light. 2 kilometers in the direction of the seat. the rocket landed in the seat. >> targeting tel aviv marks a significant escalation of this growing conflict. the body of the man held
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responsible by his it -- by israel for launching hundreds of rockets from gauze that. -- gaza. at his funeral in gaza city, the military commander was carried to the streets by a noisy passionate crowd. these men are angry, determined to avenge the assassination. israel has threatened operatives to keep their heads down in the coming days. today, the militants have fired hundreds of rockets into israel. the renewed attacks saw to justify. -- sought to justify. >> it is the occupation responsible for the war that it started. it will pay the price. defenseis israel's
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system. it could not cope with the sheer number of rockets. dozens got through. two women and a member killed when their house to direct it. were killed when their house took a direct hit. >> my government has instructed the defense forces to conduct surgical strikes against the terrorist infrastructure in gaza. this is why israel will continue to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people. >> this is what the israelis call a surgical strike. an underground hamas, launching site taken out with pinpoint accuracy. israel has been accused of killing in a sense, too. -- innocentsm, too. the father insists there were no
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militants or missile sites in the area. >> we are civilians. around our house, all are civilians. no one is firing. >> egypt has denied reports to be arranged a truce. >> for more on the high stakes of this escalating violence, i folk with former senator george mitchell. -- i spoke with former senator george mitchell. thank you very much for joining me. neither side appears to be backing down. this is not going to be over in a few days. just how serious is this? could we be seeing the start of the war? >> it is a very serious issue.
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i've been saying for some time, nearly a year, there was a will that had created a false sense of security on all sides. the real danger is not so much from the internal conflict within gaza, it is given the highly unstable and volatile situation in the region, this could be a spark that lights a conflict that extent in other unpredictable ways. it is a very serious matter. >> are you seeing any signs of that happening imminently? >> there is a long pattern in history. neither side appears to be backing down. that is in the case in the past. in the past, they have found in their mutual interest to establish a cease-fire for a
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period. that is the central objective now, to limit or reduce or to eliminate the kind of violent conflict that is occurring so that there can be a renewed effort to try to do it at the underlying causes and try to establish some sensible arrangement. >> it is a real test for the arab spring as well. we're looking at a new world order. the u.s. is asking egypt to help diffuse the situation. what is america's role right now? >> the role of the united states is as it has been in the past, as the only entity capable of establishing the circumstances that could lead to negotiations and to peace. with our allies, trying to organize a united response to deal with this immediate crisis,
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it remains one to try to stabilize the situation to create the context in which israelis and palestinians can sit down and negotiate directly, hopefully leading to an agreement. that has proven impossible so far, but it is in the interest of both sides. >> you are one of the people who has been one of the prime movers for peace in this region. what is your gut instinct? can this ever really be achieved? >> i do not believe there is any such thing as a conflict that cannot be ended or a conflict that is inevitable to last forever. individuals and societies act at of self interest. but sides recognize -- both sides will recognize that this in their self-interest to reach an agreement. it is also in the self-interest of countries in the region.
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you mentioned the so-called arab spring. it has proven to be a long and difficult winter. particularly with what is going on in syria, other parts of the region, all the while, the gulf arabs, especially, feeling menaced by the events in iran. it is complicated. they're a lot of intersecting conflicts. i do think the immediate task must be to stabilize the situation, to reduce the violence, to bring about to an immediate cease-fire. one similar to what has gone 9 for many years. >> -- gone on for many years. >> thank you for joining us from new york. the cia has opened an investigation into the conduct of its former director david petraeus who resigned last week over an extramarital affair. an agency spokesman says the investigation is exploratory and does not presuppose any
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particular outcome. he is scheduled to testify tomorrow in front of lawmakers on the attack in benghazi. president obama has pledged ongoing federal support for areas struggling to recover after a storm sandy. he went to new york for the first time with the devastation and that with families, officials, and first responders. it has been 2.5 years since an explosion on an oil rig in the gulf of mexico killed 11 people and unleashed a massive spill. bp has agreed to pay $4.5 billion and will plead guilty to criminal charges. the announcement was made by the u.s. attorney general who traveled to new orleans for the event. >> already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster america has ever faced. >> many people are dead, millions of gallons of oil
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continued to spew into the gulf. >> it is 2.5 years since the deepwater horizon will real -- will break exploded -- oil rig exploded. bp reached a settlement with the u.s. government. they have pleaded guilty to 14 criminal charges, 11 of them for misconduct. the company will pay a total of $4.5 billion in fines and compensation. two bp employees have also been charged with manslaughter. the american government says bp failed to take adequate precautions and when not rule out further efforts to see justice. >> today's resolution does not mark the end of our efforts. in fact, our criminal
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investigation remains ongoing. we will continue to file all credible leads -- follow all credible leads. >> the chief executive says, we apologize for our role in the accident. we have accepted responsibility for actions. for the investors, some of the uncertainty has now been removed. >> i think it is important for bp to put this behind them. for this to become an oil company again rather than a big risk. >> the fine from the settlement may be the biggest in u.s. history, bp still does not received the final bill. >> you are watching "bbcworld news america." a new team takes charge in
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beijing. china's next president promises a new style of leadership. can he deliver it? the euro zone has gone back into recession for the first time since 2009. the country is facing the biggest protests against austerity cuts. across the 17 member states, output fell by 0.1% in the third quarter of the year. only germany and france managed to grow. our chief correspondent reports. >> going into reverse, the year as an economy has seen a second successive quarter of contracting output. between july and september, there was a fall of 0.1% in overall economic activity. more problems for the euro zone political leadership as they try to chart a course for the single currency.
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the german finance minister speaking at a business conference said the challenges ahead could be addressed. >> investors cannot ignore europe as the largest economic zone in the long run. or leave it out of their economic considerations. the world needs a strong europe. >> weaker economies brought down the performance of the euro zone. italian output fell by 0.2%. spain and saw the decline of 0.3. france and germany, both registered 0.2% increases. those two major economies could struggle to keep up the momentum. greece has been in recession since 2007. the combination of that and the austerity program provoking protests. a german diplomat was jostled as workers amassed outside a
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meeting of the german and greek officials. the euro zone economic downturn will not do anything to ease tensions. >> after a week of secret talks and closed-door meetings, china has finally unveiled its new leader to the world. the current vice-president, xi jinping, will take the helm of the communist party for the next 10 years. he succeeds hu jintao. from beijing, the report. >> welcome to the dawn of a new chinese era. the xi jinping era. a new leader and a new team in charge. these seven men are now going to
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roll over one-fifth of humidity -- humanity. we do not know very much about them. what they will do for china's future. the communist party's new general secretary, more confident, more relaxed. >> the problems among our party members, corruption, taking bribes, being out of touch with the people. it must be addressed with great effort. >> xi will have to share power with the other six men. the major reforms seem unlikely. on the left, xi has been groomed for power. his father helped lead comment
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-- china's communist revolution. >> he is not going to be a diet -- the dominant leader. he is going to have to create a consensus in a leading body. that will not be easy to do. >> many believed china needs a change, urgent. economic growth is slowing and people's demands of their new leader are rising. he is 69 and he survives by selling so pemex at home. he wants them to spend more on health care and education. that will require enormous investments. a photographer remembers the young xi.
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>> he should be prepared to fight our enemies abroad. cups of avoiding conflict with a rise in china is one of america's priorities. xi jinping controls the world's biggest army as well as a nuclear arsenal. >> he is not somebody who sticks to talking points. he is somebody who engages. we will be able to deal with in the future. >> china's new leaders on his very first day is already bringing a change of style. the unknown is whether he will be able to bring a change of substance, too. >> for more on the changes announced in beijing, i spoke with our next guest who formerly served as ambassador to china. there has been lots of speculation over just to xi jinping actually is.
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you have met him. do you detect any great change in direction? >> no, i do not. i think xi jinping is more personable than his predecessor. he seems more comfortable in his own skin, more easygoing, more self assured. those are the personal characteristics. i thought they were fairly obvious. >> is he going to be able to make any of the changes that people are calling for? and of corruption, improved human-rights. how much power will be actually have? >> we have to give him some time. it will taken two years to consolidate his hold on the chinese hierarchy. he is an ultimate compromiser. i do not see any significant initiatives at the outset. perhaps not in the first five
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years of his tenure. he will serve 10 years. the last five years will be the tell us the truth about how active he will be about changing things. >> isn't it important that these things start to happen fairly soon? >> i think the chinese have been muddling through for 10 or 15 years. we have been saying for a long time that they have got to change. and the 10 years hu jintao, a quadruple the size of their economy. their income is going up all the time. they have become more and more prosperous. their real problem is corruption and the fact that in hu jintao's 10-year period, the number of internet users in china has gone from 45 million to 600 million people. that is a very difficult group to control. i think it poses some real
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problems for xi jinping and the new leadership. >> what about china's relationship with the u.s.? d.c. any major shift? >> i do not see any major -- do you see any major shift? >> it depends on what the united states does. the chinese are very apprehensive about the u.s.. it to asia. -- pivot to asia. they're very defensive and somewhat aggressive about it. my own concern is the japanese- chinese problems. whether the united states to be pulled into the problem between japan and china. and other countries on the periphery. >> china likes to think of itself as isolationist. is that going to change? >> i think it will change. china bove reach out more and more to the rest of the world. -- china will reach out more and
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more to the rest of the world. >> ambassador, thank you very much. to a man-made environmental disaster which ranks as one of the worst in american history. known as the dust bowl, this weekend, a new documentary on that. is set to air on pbs. >> ken burns, what was the dust bowl? >> it was the worst man-made environmental disaster in american history. it was a 10-year apocalypse that destroyed farmers' crops, and their cattle, and their children as well. we plowed up a section of the southern plains and which only grass grew.
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we were expanding into industrialized agriculture. we turned over tens of millions of acres, larger than the size of the state of ohio. >> they must help a daily quota. >> when the drought inevitably came, and that topsoil was blown clear across the country. it is a cataclysm almost unimaginable today. >> as a filmmaker known for defining periods in american history, what drew you to the dust bowl? >> what draws me to any subject i've ever tackled, the story. the large story, the greatest man-made ecological disaster. we're very fortunate to do a lot of detective work and uncovered the last survivors of the dust bowl. >> i will never forget standing
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there as a little boy, i was probably eight or nine. they started shooting those cattle. it is a sight to this day that the average person could not stand. that was our stock. >> their story, there oral history offers a bottom-up counterpoint to the top down environmental disaster. >> after hurricane sandy's struck the east coast, what president you feel your film has? >> it reminds assault -- what residence -- residents do you fill your film has? >> the dust " resonates. if you cannot learn the lessons of the past, you are condemned to repeat them over and over again. >> they come to the far edge of the great plains in search for a new beginning.
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>> it is a morality tale about our relationship with land. what lessons do you hope people will take away from it? >> human nature, filled with its arrogance and its courage and perseverance, comes up against mother nature. it is never a contest. in that conflict, we're reminded of many powerful things. the humility that we have to have towards the land. a willingness to listen to what the land tells us. >> his new fund, at the dust bowl. you can find much more on all the day's news at our website. for all of us here, thank you for watching.
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>> make sense of international news at >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> bbc world news was presented by kcet los angeles. by kcet los angeles.
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- get ready to vrrrooom with me, neighbour! because today we're going to clock factory park to play cars! and then we're going to katerina kittycat's house to do a jungle dance. i'm so happy you're here! and i'll be right back!
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is made possible in part by... the richard king mellon foundation. dedicated for over sixty years to south western pennsylvania's quality of life, and competitive future. and by these pittsburg foundations. working together to enhance and enrich the lives of children for more than seventy-five years. and by the arthur vining davis foundations. dedicated to strengthening america's future through education. adcasting, dedicated to strengthening america's future and contributions to your pbs station, from viewers like you. the neighbourhood ♪ and contributions to your pbs station, ♪ a beautiful day for a neighbour ♪ ♪ would you be mine? ♪ could you be mine? ♪ won't you be my neighbour? - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ a land of make-believe
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♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ so much to do, so much to see ♪ ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ i've got lots of friends for you to meet ♪ ♪ in this land of make-believe ♪ a friendly face on every street ♪ ♪ just waiting to greet you ♪ it's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood ♪ ♪ a beautiful day for a neighbour ♪ ♪ in daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ - (daniel): vroom, vroom! vroom, vroom, vroom, vroom! hineighbour! it's me, daniel tiger. come on in! i have a surprise to show you. so excited! (laughing) ok, ready? ta-da! it's my tigertastic car! vroom, vroom! it has stripes just like me! and it goes vroom! vroom!


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